Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas – Book Details
TITLE – The Girls Who Disappeared
AUTHOR – Claire Douglas
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2022
PAGE COUNT – 392
MY RATING – 3.5 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.06 of 5
What It Is About
Something really odd is going on around here. I don’t believe it’s mystical or supernatural, whatever some of the locals think. But I do believe it’s calculated and linked to the events surrounding Olivia’s three missing friends.
In 1998, four girls got into an accident on The Devil’s Corridor near their rural hometown. Three of the girls disappeared from the scene, and only Olivia was found.
2018. As the twenty years from the accident anniversary approaches, journalist Jenna Halliday arrives at the town, hoping to gather as much info as possible for her podcast. But someone is not happy she is there and she soon starts receiving threatening notes.
To make matters more complicated, The Devil’s Corridor has already been famous for weird happenings, from an eerie hooded figure standing in the road, to the sounds of a child crying at night, to the field of standing stones that might have been used for rituals.
Is it possible something supernatural is the culprit behind everything? Or does one of the locals stand behind what happened?
Themes and vibes:
- mystery set in a small rural English town
- a reporter investigates a cold case
- atmospheric, suspenseful read
- 3 POVs
The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas – My Review
Olivia prefers the company of horses to people. Solid, dependable and comforting. They don’t let you down, or judge you, or get angry with you, or nasty, or manipulative. They don’t answer back or hurl cruel words at you, or trick you into doing something you aren’t comfortable with.
Another book I don’t really have a ton to say about because in a lot of ways it was exactly what you’d expect from a mystery/thriller genre, and in a lot of ways it was straight in the middle when it comes to my enjoyment.
If there’s one positive about The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas, it was the atmosphere. It pulled me in so quickly! Practically from the first pages I couldn’t put it down.
The story was set in a rural Wilshire town. The place was eerie and mysterious, with its standing stones, weird, possibly supernatural happenings, locals who are clearly hiding something and, of course, the mysterious disappearance of three teenage girls 20 years ago.
The premise was intriguing, the descriptions vibrant. I felt like I was there, which lately almost never happens. I was so happy with the read, I thought it might even be one of the new favorites.
Did he suspect? She’ll never know for certain. Secrets. She’d kept so many and now she had another to take to the grave.
But the closer we got to the ending, the faster it lost my interest.
The revelation was a big letdown. I didn’t like how things were wrapped up at all. The ending was all over the place, too much, too quickly. And even with that, it still failed to surprise me.
The pacing also got slow at moments. And the characters… Well. Most of them were unlikable. And they weren’t exactly done badly, but none of them stood up as someone I could follow or truly care about.
But I sometimes enjoy unlikable characters, so that wasn’t such a big issue. The pacing and the characters together wouldn’t lower my review for more than half a star if I liked the ending more.
My mind feels fractured, like looking at my reflection in a broken mirror. I can see different parts but can’t understand where they all fit.
So, I’m not sure who I should recommend this book to. It wasn’t bad, but it left a lot to be desired.
I guess if you like atmospheric mysteries and care more about the journey than the big reveal. The Girls Who Disappeared had quite a bit to offer in the sense of vibes and, until the very end, unputdownableness.
If you do give it a shot, please let me know what your experience with it was.
Also, if you’ve read other Claire Douglas’ books, let me know which one I should try out next. I definitely want to read more from her because I loved how immersing the beginning of The Girls Who Disappeared was. But maybe something with a bit better conclusion.